cod. 1007813

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
- Xenofon FAFOUTIS
Academic discipline
Sistemi di elaborazione delle informazioni (ING-INF/05)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

A student who has met the learning objectives of the course will be able to:
- Identify the different subsystems of an embedded system and how they interact with each other
- Explain how cyber physical systems interact with the physical environment
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different serial communication approaches
- Critically analyse the trade-offs among different means for wired/wireless embedded system communication and time synchronisation
- Design embedded software and program embedded systems
- Design, test, and evaluate networked embedded systems
- Describe the recent concepts in the field of intelligent transportation systems and smart vehicles


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Course unit content

The course will provide basic, advance, as well as practical knowledge on the design and implementation of networked embedded systems for intelligent applications, such as smart vehicles and intelligent transportation systems. Following an introduction on the recent developments of embedded systems, the course will focus on system-level building blocks for developing distributed embedded systems including software-hardware interaction, sensors and actuators, intra-board communication, wired/wireless embedded networking, embedded software development, performance evaluation and testing, as well as on-board data processing and embedded machine learning.

Full programme

The course will include the following topics:
- Introduction to the field of networked embedded systems and to the recent developments in intelligent transportation systems and smart vehicles
- Anatomy of an embedded system including microcontrollers, sensors, actuators, and other peripherals
- Basics of (digital) electronics from the perspective of embedded system design, including the fundamentals of PCB design
- Means for interacting with the environment including general-purpose input/output ports, analogue-to-digital converters, and pulse width modulators
- Means for serial communication, intra-board data exchange, and peripheral control including UART, SPI and I2C
- Means for wired embedded networking including line coding, differential signalling, and medium access control, including CAN Bus, Ethernet, and Automotive Ethernet
- Means for wireless embedded networking, including the fundamentals of radios and wireless communication, radio duty cycling and medium access control
- Methods for time synchronisation, including GPS, NTP, PTP, and lightweight alternatives
- Advanced protocols for reliable industrial distributed embedded systems, including TSCH, 6tisch and TSN
- Fundamentals of embedded software development and programming embedded systems, including embedded operating systems scheduling, concurrency, interrupts, timers, low-power modes, and bitwise programming
- Fundamentals of embedded data processing, including embedded machine learning
- Dependability and system performance evaluation, including means for providing/measuring reliability, energy-efficiency, security, determinism, and robustness


As this is a rapidly developing field and there currently does not exist a single up-to-date reference book that covers all the content, the course will be based on a collection of freely available sources including but not limited to scientific papers, chapters from open books, and application notes from hardware manufacturers.

Teaching methods

The course includes approximately 30 hours of lectures and approximately 18 hours of presentations and discussions of recent academic papers.

Assessment methods and criteria

Throughout the semester, each student is expected to present a small number of scientific papers in the classroom and attend and discuss (most of) the presentations of the other students. In addition, each student will take one final exam. The final exam will include questions that aim at assessing the degree the students have met the learning objectives. The final assessment will be determined by the performance of the student in the final written and the paper presentations.

Other information

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